Review: The Pig’s Head, Clapham

Table at the Pig's

Table at the Pig’s

The Pig’s Head is a great gastropub conversion of a huge old tavern in Clapham Old Town, with a high glass-domed ceiling and plenty of scrubbed wood, dried flowers and jars of preserved and pickled on shelves. They have a strong focus on meat (though their veg dishes are great by my reckoning) and have resolutely stuck to pub-level dining. No fancy plating and tiny blobs, it’s all good portions and big flavours.

On this occasion we’re here for Sunday lunch, so we skip starters in anticipation of a feast. But if it’s on when you’re visiting then I heartily recommend the pig’s head fritter. There are four different sharing roasts, although after briefly contemplating the Tamworth pig’s head (literally, half a pig’s head brought to table to pick apart) we settle for the 35-day aged beef rump.

Roast beef

Roast beef

This is a deeply flavoured, almost gamey, piece of dark purple beef. They’ve roasted it very rare and the taste is beautiful. I’ll admit, texture-wise we do quite a lot of chewing on fibres, so I’m left not quite decided whether the great taste is worth the chew. The rest of the plate is a splendid Sunday lunch. Firm carrots with charred edges, a big and puffy Yorkshire pudding still moist and chewy, properly crunchy beef dripping roasties, cauliflower cheese made with some very mature and tangy cheddar, lots of spring greens, and of course a really splendid dark beef gravy. All good.

We just about have room to share pudding, which is a good thing because I love their rice pudding brulee. It’s exactly as lovely as you’re imagining, with silky-creamy rice pudding topped with slightly bitter caramelised sugar. Forces rhubarb diced on top gives a lovely sweet fragrance.

Sunday lunch with pud was £30 before drinks. The Pig’s Head is a great local, and a cut above most other dining pubs in London.

Rice pudding brulee

Rice pudding brulee

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